Upon Further Review: Offense vs Western Michigan Comment Count

Brian September 10th, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Offensive UFRs come with a bit more lingo you have to understand. So, on passing plays you'll see (CA, 3, protection 1/1) or something similar. The first item is how I classified the throw. This goes in the Hennechart, which I guess is now the Tatelace chart or something. The second item is what I rated the ball for the wide receiver. 3 is routine, 2 difficult but catchable, 1 a circus catch if made, and 0 is totally uncatchable. The last number is a protection rating assigned to the offensive line. Depending on how long the QB stuck in the pocket and how many rushers there are, the OL can get from 1-3 points. When the opponent gets pressure the OL will lose points and I'll assign the negatives to either a single player (if he was beaten) or the team (if there's a missed blitz pickup that's not easily localizable). I do hand out +/- but don't aggregate them because they don't mean much on offense. For the last couple years Genuinely Sarcastic has been putting together RunFRs that focus just on the ground game and do provide systematic evaluations for the OL and backs; hopefully that will continue.

UPDATE: It was already posted by the time I got it up. You win this time, GS.

A note on Western's defensive alignments: their smallish slot-covering OLB/S guy may technically be a linebacker, which would make all the "nickel" packages below 4-3s but he was real small and the distinction doesn't matter much.

Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass PA Rollout Hitch Hemingway 5
Zone playfake one way coupled with Koger peeling back to pick up a pass block on the defensive end. WMU is going with a scrape read, though, so a linebacker is coming up hard and Forcier has to dump. Pass on the run to Hemingway is accurate; immediate tackle. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O47 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read handoff Brown 3
Michigan's quicker on their tempo here, getting to the line and snapping the ball with 23 seconds left on the playclock. We miss the first chunk of the play because of this. When we come back, Huyge(-1) has gotten beat and there's no crease on the frontside between Schilling and Molk, though those guys have moved the LOS a bit. Brown's swamped and falls forward for three.
O44 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Scramble Forcier 3
Michigan rolls out like they did on the first play and gets a block on the edge; unfortunately, Western is blitzing a safety right into this. Forcier's got Odoms but has to juke the safety, which he does, and juke two more Bronco defenders before getting a crunching first down. Excellent play. (PR, N/A, protection N/A)
O41 1 10 Shotgun Empty 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Bubble screen Odoms 7 (Pen -5)
This gets called back for “illegal motion” as Odoms jumps the snap and starts running his route, but... why is it illegal motion? You can have a guy moving as long as it's not towards the LOS, and Odoms wasn't moving towards the LOS. Anyway: Forcier shortens the throw—not sure if that's intentional—which allows Odoms to dart inside of Koger and the guy he's trying to block not very well. Odoms then jets outside for a gain of seven; excellent YAC given the situation. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
O46 1 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Forcier 4
I'm betting the reason why Forcier was pulling the ball out all day is that Western was crashing down on the back and matching it with either scrape reads or Rutgers-like corner blitzes. Michigan's counterpunch was adding a third option of a long handoff or bubble screen, which is wide open on this play as the corner is blitzing but Forcier fails to make the throw, instead charging up for a few yards. (BR, N/A, N/A)
O42 2 11 Shotgun Empty 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Hitch Brown 13
They empty the backfield and this is a dead simple hitch to a virtually uncovered Brown that turns into an easy first down. Good recognition from Forcier to find the wide-open dude. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Note the pace: Michigan gets this play off exactly 16 seconds after the previous one ended.
O29 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 0 2 3 Nickel Run Iso Brown 0
Grady comes in motion for a fake end-around (Kelvin, obviously. I'll use numbers for clarity) as Michigan runs a dive up the middle. Schilling(-1) immediately blows into the second level, leaving a DT mostly unblocked; Ortmann has no angle. This looks like a bust somewhere, because Schilling really needs to get a piece of the DT to help Ortmann out. With that guy in the hole Brown has to dance around aimlessly for no yards.
O29 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 0 2 3 Nickel Pass Improv Hemingway 28
Nice pocket, though it should be nice with Michigan in max pro and Western sending only four. Forcier scrambles up in the pocket, points Hemingway long, and hits him despite moving at an awkward angle; Hemingway makes a nice turn and finishes the play off for a touchdown. Just light years different than last year. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 10 min 1st Q. He throws to people. Also, Moundros was in on the last two plays but hurts his ankle on kickoff coverage and misses the rest of the game.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M11 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 0 2 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Forcier 3
Forcier is again getting suckered in by the backside pursuit and pulling the ball out only to find himself one-on-one with a defender. He's pretty slippery but he's not Denard. I mean, it's good he makes three yards out of this but as I was watching it live it looked like Brown was going to break a big one and then it was like “wait he has no ball.”
M14 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run End around Robinson 1
Robinson is the slot receiver and he gets the end around, which surprises no one. The middle linebacker reads this all the way and since Western correctly funnels it back inside Robinson can do little. I think maybe this is on Ortmann for taking a poor angle out to the MLB? Yeah, on review the direction he's going makes no sense. -1.
M15 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Sack -- 0
Moosman(-2) is just flat beat by an interior pass rush move by the DT, forcing Forcier to scramble up in the pocket and get sacked for a minimal loss. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 6 min 1st Q. Some limitations on this drive: bad read from Forcier and poor play by the OL.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M16 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Forcier 8
Same thing with the DE crashing down except the safety is the scrape guy. Forcier manages to juke him and get outside, then get outside the corner and get upfield for eight. Impressive? Dangerous against non-MAC opponents? Both?
M24 2 2 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read handoff Brown -2 (Pen -10)
Ugh; injury to insult as a holding flag comes down. As to the play: a slant from the DE coupled with a CB blitz gets said DE in past Huyge(-1) and finds Brown doubled and tackled in the backfield. This holding is slightly marginal but Molk(-1) did get busted into and wrestled his guy to the ground with his hands outside his shoulders so you can't complain too much. Stuff like this is about the only thing you can complain about from the game.
M14 2 12 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Bubble counter S. Grady Inc
They will run this a few more times with good success, and I'll grab a highlight of that when it works. [note: apparently they didn't. I'm sure it will come back laster] Michigan sets up what looks like a bubble screen before Grady dives back inside and Forcier hits him; overaggresive Western folk get caught outside. Grady drops it. I guess it was a little high, but not that high. (CA, 3, protection N/A, screen)
M14 3 12 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Deep seam Webb Inc
WMU rushes four with a linebacker coming at Brown from the outside; Brown upends him with a thumping hip-check of a block, allowing Forcier to hop outside the pocket, load up, and bomb it deep to Webb, but the ball is a couple yards long. (IN, 0, protection 2/2.) Had Hemingway streaking open down the sideline, too.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 5 min 1st Q. Robinson gets the next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Penalty False Start Many Pen -5
Both Moosman and Huyge move early.
O48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Wonder and glory Robinson 48
You've seen this. Yakety Sax turns into a precious thing forever. Not really worth discussing since it's a broken play but, yes, as everyone's noticed Odoms doesn't give up on the play and levels a linebacker who would have kept this to a five yard gain. Replay. Graphic novel adaptation. (srsly)
Drive Notes: Space Touchdown, 14-0, 4 min 1st Q. Space. Robinson back in.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB off tackle Robinson 5
This is a simple off tackle that seems like it should go for more since it effectively attacks WMU's crash-scrape thing, but Brown peels off on the DE when he should probably head straight for the safety and hope for the best. Brown's cut block isn't that effective and Odoms can't contain the CB, so the pair contain Robinson after a couple of jukes. Still picks up five, not bad.
M37 2 5 Shotgun Empty 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Hitch Grady 7
Simple pitch and catch Robinson knows will be open because the two linebackers are freaking out about the Flash over here. Robinson rifles it pretty high but Grady makes a tough catch and picks up the first. (MA, 2, protection 1/1)
M44 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass ??? Hemingway Inc
This is a screwup on the part of Robinson. The line is run-blocking, the receivers are run-blocking, and Grady is coming around for a reverse or fake reverse. Robinson pulls up and throws a hitch to Hemingway, who's, as mentioned, run blocking. Michigan probably should have gotten an illegal man downfield on this. (BR, not charted for Hemingway or the line.)
M44 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB off tackle Robinson 7
Grady fake end-around again; I bet this was also the playcall on first down. Koger(+1) and Huyge(+1) double and seal the DE, and then Koger goes and gets a linebacker; Brown pops the corner on the edge and Robinson has a lane. There is a slight delay because the crease isn't big, and this allows Brown's guy to make a shoelace (HA!) tackle as Robinson passes.
O49 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB draw Robinson 2
This doesn't really fool anyone so Robinson would be better served to take off earlier. As it is, Brown gets a great cut block on the LB but Robinson's delayed his move so long that the guy can recover and help tackle along with the guy Molk couldn't get out on because they're sort of expecting this, eh?
O47 4 1 I-Form covered twins 1 2 2 4-4 bearmonster Run Iso Brown 6
The DE lined up over Koger dives inside, expecting something more up the middle, which allows Ortmann to seal him easily. Koger picks off the crashing safety and Brown gets the first down and a chunk more.
O41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Forcier 5
Forcier back in. This is a repeat of what we've seen before: DE crashes coupled with an attacking safety, scrape from the LB, Forcier gets on the edge and turns a questionable decision into a few yards. Bubble is wide, wide open again, though it doesn't look like Forcier has that option on this play.
O36 2 5 Shotgun Empty 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Hitch Koger 5
Simple, well executed dink-and-dunk pitch-and-catch. On time. Koger bobbles it but brings it in and fights for the extra yard that gets him the first. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O31 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 0 2 3 Nickel Run Iso Brown 11
Grady end-around fake. Good example of zone blocking here as the DT slants inside and Schilling(+1) goes with his motion and shoves him out of the play; Brown reads it and cuts behind him. Molk, who released directly into the second level, gets a block on the MLB and Brown cuts past the OLB and into the secondary, where the safety cuts him down.
O20 1 10 Ace 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run End around Grady 11
They finally hand it off. Crashy defensive end crashes and Koger picks off the OLB's route to Grady. Stonum does some good work on the outside and Grady slithers for a first down.
O9 1 G I-Form covered twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown 1
DE again crashes inside of Koger, just as on the fourth down play, but this is less of a quick hitter and actually features a pulling Schilling so the crash inside complicates things. Schilling tries to take him on but has no angle and the guy makes a diving tackle as Brown passes. Not sure if this is poor execution on anyone's part or not.
O8 2 G Ace 2 1 2 4-3 Under Pass Waggle TE Cross Koger 8
All three linebackers bite like whoah, leaving Koger wide open in the back of the endzone; Tate hits him between the numbers. (CA, 3, protection 1//1) Fake helped out by the line's obvious zone blocking. Play looked just like a run play and the linebackers were freaking out before the exchange point was even reached.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-0, 12 min 2nd Q. That waggle is a blast from the past, eh?
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O42 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Michigan goes max protect and gets Forcier time but with only three receivers in the pattern and Western on top of each in a three-deep, Forcier just chucks it away. Double moves on the outside got no sale. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
O42 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Zone read bubble Savoy 11
Robinson in. This isn't really a bubble but it's the same concept: Odoms starts running as if he's going to run block and Savoy runs two steps and then comes back for a potential throw; Robinson keeps it off the zone fake and hits Savoy as the D closes in (CA, 3, protection NA) Savoy uses the space afforded by the attention paid to Robinson and Western's very deep coverage on the outside to pick up the first.
O31 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read handoff Shaw 5
The MGolden Boy is having a rough time of it today. On this play Molk(-1) lets his man upfield behind him quickly enough to force a cutback from Shaw that just barely forces him into the backside DT, who Huyge has managed to get on the right side. When Huyge goes down to cut the DT, he lunges over Huyge to grab at Shaw and tackle. Shaw manages to stumble for five.
O26 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB lead draw Robinson -2 ( Pen -10)
Blocking poor on this; Schilling(-1) has his guy beat him to the outside a bit, forcing Robinson behind him; the dobule on the other DT does not seal him, resulting in the pulling Koger bashing into the mess and said mess halting Robinson's progress. He bounces off, but just when it looks like he might beat everyone to the corner and do something ridiculous again he loses his balance. Holding flag comes in afterwards, again on Molk(-1). It's not undeserved.
O36 2 15 Shotgun 2-back 0 2 3 Nickel Pass Improv comeback Shaw Inc
Forcier in. He drops back and appears to have a wheel to Shaw as his first read; this is blanketed. Stonum's post is also covered and then Ortmann's guy has come around the corner and Forcier has to scramble out. As he's nearing the sideline he rifles one to Shaw, which looks caught but is ruled OOB. (CA+, 2, protection 1/2, Ortmann -1) Actually, Shaw just dropped it.
O36 3 15 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Dime Run QB draw Forcier 10
Well... WMU was basically asking for this and it does give Michigan a makeable field goal attempt. Given the long shot that is third and fifteen I think it's a defensible call. There's not much to analyze: Michigan takes the ten yards WMU gives them.
Drive Notes: FG(44), 24-0, 7 min 2nd Q. Olesnavage right down the pipe. Nice.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 Ace Twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Brown 11
Both DTs are doubled as Brown shoots straight into the middle of the field; Molk and Schilling seal one guy and Moosman(+1) gets a hit that spins the DT around, allowing Huyge to finish him. Moosman then gets a crushing second-level block, and Koger picks off a member of the secondary. Brown zips for a first.
M26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Rollout hitch Mathews 11
Zone fake with Koger coming across to block again. With two linebackers suckered in by the playfake, Forcier pulls up and calmly hits a wide-open Mathews. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Poor play by the secondary here.
M37 1 10 Ace Twins 2 1 2 Nickel Run Inside zone Brown 6
Man, the way Western has decided to defend Michigan is just sell out and hope M doesn't call that other play. Here this is pretty well blocked on the backside and Brown would have a huge cutback lane but for the DE, who's sold out to track him down. Ortmann's crushing block(+1) on the DT kicks him down the line and gives Brown enough space to squeeze between Ortmann and the arm-tackling DE; the arm tackle does trip Brown up, but after a decent gain. The flip side of plays like these are plays like the wide open Koger touchdown.
M43 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB off tackle Forcier -5
I don't know what the hell Brown(-1) is thinking here but he runs right past a linebacker who's charging right at Forcier. Forcier attempts to bail by throwing the bubble but the guy's on him too fast and he has to eat the ball. I'm filing this as a run, but the option to throw is here (and is wide open).
M38 3 9 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Throwback screen Hemingway 14
Very well set up, with Forcier's flare screen fake to one side freaking out one LB and holding another; Schilling and Molk get out on said LB by the time the ball arrives and crush him. Molk probably should have gone for the safety, but Hemingway makes him miss and rambles for the first down. Note the DT chasing him down from behind and how close he was: Forcier's timing and accuracy here are excellent and key. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
O48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Rollout bomb Stonum Inc
Looks like the QB off tackle but is designed to get the secondary to bite and then spring Stonum deep. They don't bite and Forcier appears to chuck it away. (TA, 0, protection 2/2). He had only one short option and that was covered. Plays like this are why those rollout hitches are so open; Western's secondary is playing way off.
O48 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB off tackle Forcier 4
Crappy read by Forcier on the cut; he can go behind a Koger/Huyge DE double and find plenty of open space with Schilling about to pop the last second level guy but instead tries to head outside with minimal success.
O44 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Fly Hemingway 44
Hemingway gives one little shimmy and is then by; he's got a step, step and a half on the corner. Forcier sees it and lofts a ball that nestles gently between Hemingway's numbers perfectly in stride. You can't throw this better. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-0, 3 min 2nd Q. w00t.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read handoff Brown 3
Playside DT shoots to the backside of Molk(-1), actually, which appears to surprise him, and then gets playside of Schilling(-1) to disrupt the play and force Brown behind him. Brown(-1) is slowed as he passes the guy and fumbles when a linebacker comes in to hit; Schilling recovers.
M27 2 7 Shotgun Empty 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Bubble screen Odoms 5
This is an excellent play from Odoms, as Webb(-1) takes a poor angle to the corner and lets him outside of him; Odoms has to juke past that and a pursuing DE to pick up decent yardage (CA, 3, screen)
M32 3 2 I-Form covered twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Pitch sweep Brown 5
I'm grabbing this just for Webb's great block(+1) on the playside DE, which sees the guy driven back three yards and gives Brown the corner.
M37 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Dig Hemingway 12
Bubble screen fake sucks the corner up and Hemingway ends up in cavernous space between that guy and the cover-three back line. Forcier throws it a tiny bit behind and Hemingway juggles it but does bring it in. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Hemingway limps off.
M49 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read handoff Brown 7
This is an outside zone and perhaps the first I've seen actually get outside the tackle as Molk(+1) and Ortmann(+1) seal the playside DT and DE, leaving Webb and Schilling to the two linebackers. Webb(-1) basically whiffs; Schilling is free to take on the same guy but stumbled coming through the line and is a bit late, which slows Brown enough for help to converge. If Webb gets that block Brown has the safety to beat for six.
O44 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass QB off tackle to long handoff Mathews 8
The QB off tackle we've seen several times today; this time Forcier's first read is the throw. He hits a wide open Mathews, who picks up the first. Nice block from Odoms. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
O36 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read handoff Shaw 7
Webb deployed as an H-back and used as a lead blocker. Frontside scoop block by Molk and Moosman works okay but the DT comes around Molk to dive at Shaw's ankles; Shaw comes through that. Slowed, though, Shaw is caught from behind by the crashing DE as he passes the line of scrimmage, dragging him forward for a good, but not explosive, gain.
O29 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Rollout deep out Savoy Inc
Zone read fake with Koger pulling across the formation. Previously, he's blocked. This time he runs into a short flat route that's pretty well covered. Forcier's second read is Savoy on a deep out, and that's open, but he can't quite get it off in time, getting hit and throwing the ball off target. Tough to chart this... I'll go with (PR, 0, N/A)
O29 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB lead draw Forcier 2
This is on Forcier(-1), who should just follow Brown's butt straight upfield but instead tries to pop outside and gets stopped short. Forcier comes out because he loses a shoe.
O27 4 1 I-Form covered twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Shaw 2
Crease opens up between Schilling and Ortmann thanks to a very good block by Schilling(+1), but Grady-24(-1) whiffs on the LB, forcing Shaw to leap him and allowing another LB to close, fortunately after he got a half-yard past the sticks.
O25 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Run Zone read handoff Shaw 12
Big hole outside the tackles as the playside DT basically drives himself into the ground with an assist from Molk(+1) and the DE finds himself scooped by Huyge(+1) and Moosman(+1) very effectively. Grady-24 pops the corner and though Huyge whiffed on the LB, the delay is enough for Shaw to run through the tackle attempt. Good downfield block from Stonum has Shaw set up to cut behind and jet for the endzone when the corner makes a diving shoestring tackle.
O13 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Sheridan 13 (Pen -10)
The called-back touchdown. For the first time all game Western isn't scraping but the DE didn't get the memo and crashes; Sheridan pulls it out and cuts his way to the endzone. Play called back for holding... which is BS. Other ones were legit, this one not so much.
O23 1 20 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Throwaway Mathews Inc
Pump intended double move doesn't get Mathews open, so Sheridan gets rid of it. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
O23 2 20 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Sheridan 4
WMU is scraping this time and you can do that pretty well when the QB is Nick Sheridan… unless you're Western. Guy actually misses a tackle, giving up four.
O19 3 16 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Post Mathews Int
The difference between Sheridan and Tate: this time Sheridan scrambles out of the pocket to buy some time after his first read is covered, finds Mathews sort of open, and throws it directly to him, where the ball is undercut and intercepted. Lofted to the back of the endzone this had a chance. Chucked directly to him... no. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 31-0, 9 min 3rd Q. Forcier returns for the next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M18 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Pass Zone read bubble Grady(19) 6
Don't think this is a read as the run fake is half-hearted. Corner here that Stonum's trying to block is more aware of this possibility and evades Stonum to the outside, forcing Grady back inside. He dances effectively for good yardage. (CA, 3, screen)
M24 2 4 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Forcier 1
This might not be a read, either, as Grady shoots backside to pick off the crashing DE. He's crashed too far for there to be a hole, and Forcier has to bounce it outside into the scrape linebacker. This time he can't evade him.
M25 3 3 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Pass Rollout out Grady(19) Inc
Grady's running slightly open for the first down, but Forcier puts it wide. He's human. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-0, 1 min 3rd Q. By my reckoning that's the first non-bomb that's been inaccurate without reason.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB lead draw Robinson 9
Robinson. Seems an obvious playcall with FB Grady in to block the lead. Michigan blocks down, taking out the MLB and the DT without problems, and Grady(+1) picks off the DE, springing Robinson through the line. A safety attacking absorbs the pulling guard, allowing an unblocked linebacker to tackle.
M43 2 1 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB lead draw Robinson 9
Similar play, though on this one they use Ortmann to kick out the DE and shoot Grady into the MLB. Good seal block from Moosman to create a pretty big gap.
O48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB off tackle Robinson -8
Webb(-2) is beaten badly to the outside, almost holds, and still lets his guy upfield fast enough that Robinson can't do anything about it and gets tackled by the feet. They were running the Grady end-around fake.
M44 2 18 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB lead draw Robinson 3
Okay, they're just killing clock now. DL are looking for this and peeling back off the pass blocking.
M47 3 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Fly Mathews Inc
There is a window between the corner, who drops off a few yards short of the first, and the safety coming over the top, but Robinson is late and throws a deeper ball that the safety gets over on and breaks up. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-0, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Run Zone read handoff Smith 1
Robinson on this drive too. Man, Molk(-1) having a rough time of it, allowing his guy to shoot around him quickly, which disrupt the attempted backside cut and cuts off Moosman. The guy Molk lost delays Smith and the guy Huyge couldn't cut tackles for no gain.
M30 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Pass Sack -- Inc
Robinson had a guy to throw to, IIRC my perception of the play from the stands, but instead attempts to take off when there's nowhere to run and does not get back to the LOS. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
M29 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB draw Robinson 5
Okay, whatever.
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-7, 8 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form TE RB WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 6
Forcier. Here a double from Molk and Moosman does drive the DT back; Ortmann kicks out the DE and there's a crease. Moosman gets a helmet on a LB and Smith shoots up for good yardage before a peeling corner tracks him down.
M40 2 4 I-Form covered twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Off tackle Smith 4
Pulling guards show up again... Michigan's going to add this sort of thing to its playlist this year, I guess. Line blocks down and cuts of the DTs and Grady hits the DE along with the guard; crushing blocking from Huyge and Schilling has opened up a crease up the middle that Smith darts into, ending up inches short.
M44 3 In I-Form covered twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Smith 4
Crunching block from Grady gets Smith the first. Good seal from Moosman.
M48 1 10 Ace Twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 2
Schilling and Molk get pushed back a bit by the DT, forcing a Smith cutback into dudes.
50 2 8 I-Form covered twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Pitch sweep Smith 5
Good seal by Huyge(+1) on the DE on the edge, so this opens up pretty well. Schilling just sort of runs by the backside LB, who Moosman can't get out to, and he gets a dive at Smith, forcing him into the guy Stokes is blocking and slowing his progresss; he bounces out for a few more.
O45 3 3 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Grady(24) 3
Grady cuts back, plowing into and through Huyge, who's let his man inside of him and lets just get to the main event, okay?
O42 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle cross Koger! 20
WOO HA! (MA, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Yes, there's a rest of this drive but you and I know there's only one reason I was charting it. Turnover on Downs, 31-7, EOG. One note: production in this game was really great. They missed the beginning of a play or two but were very prompt with replays and on top of their stuff. Thumbs up.

 I think I remember this, but what is it called?


Ah yes. I suppose there are charts?


Quarterbacks of all descriptions (Hennechart again; MA is "marginal"):


Western Michigan 2 14 1 2 1 2 - 3


Western Michigan - 1 1 1 2 - - -


Western Michigan - - - - 1 1 - -

Robinson and Sheridan obviously didn't do much throwing. I have Forcier down for five screens, all catchable, which leaves his downfield success rate (DO + CA / DO + CA + IN + BR + TA + PR) at 58%. That's not Chad Henne at his apex but it's far, far better than the average performance last year and also far better than Ryan Mallett's debut.

And as far as Forcier equaling accuracy go: two incompletions were throwaways, two were drops, and one was pressure-induced. The only throws on which Forcier was inaccurate were

  • a long bomb to Webb after rolling out of the pocket that probably would have been complete if it wasn't thrown to a TE,
  • an out to Kelvin Grady that was wide, and
  • the Koger circus catch.

That is stupid. Forcier has a bunch of issues with reading defenses and having patience and dealing with scrape exchanges and etc etc etc but hot holy damn, man. Everything we were led to believe about Forcier's accuracy is true after one game.

Also note that all five screens were filed CA, and none were remotely close to anything else. That's a huge leap from last year, when Threet actually threw one backwards in the Notre Dame game and was hugely erratic much of the rest of the year. It's sad that we're talking about screens as a huge leap forward, but it's sad about the past so ooookay.


(remember: 0 is uncatchable, 1 is a circus catch, 2 is a somewhat difficult one, and 3 is a routine one)

This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway - - - 4/4 - - - 4/4
Mathews 2 - - 2/2 2 - - 2/2
Stonum 1 - - - 1 - -
Savoy 1 - - 1/1 1 - - -
Odoms - - - 2/2 - - - 2/2
Grady-19 1 - 1/1 1/2 1 - 1/1 1/2
Roundtree - - - - - - - -
Rogers - - - - - - - -
Koger - 1/1 - 2/2 - 1/1 - 2/2
Webb 1 - - - 1 - - -
Minor - - - - - - - -
Brown - - - 1/1 - - - 1/1
Shaw - - 0/1 - - - 0/1 -
Smith - - - - - - - -
Moundros - - - - - - - -

Only one straight drop, that from Kelvin Grady on his first catch opportunity in three years, and then there was, of course, Koger's circus catch. Items that jump out to me: look at the distribution. 11 players were targeted in one game. And look at the large reduction in 0s and 1s. Last year there were 28 opportunities to make a circus catch; Michigan is on pace for 12 this year.

and PROTECTION CHART: 22/25, Moosman –2, Ortmann –1.

Michigan spent the game in a lot of rollouts, holding these numbers down. Good performance overall.

What about that Odoms call?

I'm pretty sure it was wrong. There's even a call-out in the rule book for that specific situation:

A30, lined up legally as a back, starts in motion legally. He then turns
so that he still is legally in motion but is facing his line of scrimmage
using a “side-step” motion. At the snap, A30 is bent slightly forward
at the waist and is either continuing his “side-step” motion or is
“marking time” in place. RULING: Legal.

Odoms had definitely not taken more than a step or two and was not moving towards the line of scrimmage; at that point he hadn't even turned his shoulders upfield. I think the ref was anticipating forward movement instead of seeing it.

Anything particularly worrying?

Michigan's zone stretch game kind of stank, didn't it? Michigan picked up numerous holding calls, never broke a long run (in the framework of the offense), and had more success on quarterback runs or straight ace or I-form pounding. From under center Michigan ran 13 times for 62 yards before charting ceased, which is 4.8 YPC. Tailbacks from the shotgun had 13 carries for… uh… 61 yards. Wait. Nevermind.

Okay, you should still give an advantage to under center because five of those carries came at the end of the game when Michigan was just pounding the clock out and three others were short-yardage situations. Also, Moundros missed most of the game and when he returns you figure he's best at isos and whatnot.

In any case, 4.8 YPC against a MAC opponent isn't stellar.

Is there anything in what WMU did that future opponents can emulate?

I think they do so at their peril. As discussed in an earlier mailbag, WMU was shooting the DE down the line and having a scraper deal with the quarterback. This guy was the WLB or a corner, and the scrape opened up a lot of those holes on the outside that Michigan exploited with the zone-keep-to-screen series; it would have been worse if Michigan was used to the read, because there were three or four times that Michigan didn't chuck it to the WR where he was wide open. When Minor returns, Michigan loves that quick backside veer play, possibly with a pulling h-back or Moundros—that hits so quickly the DE can't do anything about it except watch the tailback shoot into the hole the scraper is vacating. Michigan clearly spent a chunk of the offseason devising counters to the scrape, all of which they put away once the score got out of hand.


Pick a quarterback, and Junior Hemingway was the first amongst equals at wide receiver.


David Molk picked up two deserved holding flags and had numerous instances where Western's small, nimble defensive line hopped past him to disrupt plays. The rest of the OL also gets some mild disapproval.

What does it mean for Notre Dame?

The thing that leapt out during the Nevada game was a play on which two Nevada OLs double-teamed Ethan Johnson and deposited him somewhere around the first-down marker. Johnson's a DT who looks like a tight end, a hyped recruit who appears to be playing badly out of position. Unfortunately, this could be an advantage against Michigan since agile guys who can get down the line can fare better than your conventional pocket-crushing DT sorts. Meanwhile, NT Ian Williams is thoroughly mediocre, blown out time and again by Nevada and a primary reason Michigan was finding acres of space during last year's monsoon. He's not real mobile.

If both of those guys had the same flaws it would be easy. Finding a recipe that works against those two… well, it's probably ram it down their throat a lot. Nevada had good success doing that with their slow WAC backs throughout the game. Putting Johnson on skates and having faith that the backside can contain Williams with a candy bar seems advisable, and Michigan should have an opportunity to break several big gainers what with TAH-NOO-TAA going blitz mad in game one. Last time a TAH-NOO-TAA defense ran up against the spread 'n' shred things worked out all right:

(This video comes with a HORRIBLE MUSIC WARNING.) West Virginia put up 440 yards of offense and 38 points in a three-point win against a team that gave up 17 PPG to all other opponents. So… yeah, there will be the potential for explosive plays.

As far as the passing game goes, well… with all the blitzing Michigan will deploy a bunch of screens of all varieties; I'm looking for that bubble counter that Kelvin Grady dropped to make a potentially lethal return. Michigan will roll the pocket a ton, reducing the effectiveness of some blitzes and requiring Forcier to throw before his head gets taken off on others.



September 10th, 2009 at 1:44 PM ^

Is it possible that Odoms was called for illegal motion for moving backward at the snap? That was my thought when watching the game, but I am not an expert on the NCAA rules for illegal motion.


September 10th, 2009 at 2:14 PM ^

Backwards or sideways motion is okay. Forward motion is the only thing that isn't. I think a lot of time, forward motion induces refs to throw a flag before the play even starts - for example, a running back jumps before the snap and they flag him. Everybody knows what happened, the back jumped early, but it wasn't actually illegal if he stopped before the ball snapped.


September 10th, 2009 at 1:46 PM ^

Tate only knows 70% of the playbook. How much will that play into our success against ND's blitz happy defense? Having Minor back will be a huge benefit in this game.

Wolverine In Exile

September 10th, 2009 at 2:01 PM ^

I love UFR's, but where's the charting for the Coner's drive? I mean that guy has worked for 4+ years to get some game time and been looking forward to seeing his name in the big MGoBlog Chart? Chart. But nada, nothing, nil, zippo.

For the first time in my life, I'm disappointed in you Brian.


September 10th, 2009 at 2:03 PM ^

Brian - I think you made a math error on Tate's percentages. DO + CA = 16 and the total chart is only 25, with equals 64%, not 58%. 67% if you're dropping out the 1 in the MA column.

58% sounds bad but 64% sounds good, as the baseline for "good day" is about 60%.


September 10th, 2009 at 2:46 PM ^

"I'm grabbing this just for Webb's great block(+1) on the playside DE, which sees the guy driven back three yards and gives Brown the corner."

Right before that play, I swear I heard the M sideline yelling "Martell! Martell!" This stopped as soon as Webb went in motion to the play side. I think he didn't realize he was supposed to motion, but his teammates knew the play well enough to tell him. Webb then executed the block.

Little Bro

September 10th, 2009 at 3:13 PM ^

Hemingway is also the first person on the field to see that Webb was on the wrong said and yelled at him to get over to the correct side of the line. It's a great sign when you've got the rest of the team on the same page looking to make sure the play will be executed correctly.


September 10th, 2009 at 2:21 PM ^

Mine is the 28 yarder from Force to Hemingway on the first drive. Rolling away from pressure while communicating the route improvisation to the receiver. Not your average frosh....


September 10th, 2009 at 3:07 PM ^

Can we get some visual cue to say when a link is a lightbox video and when it is linking to a different page in UFRs? I would alt+click the links to a new tab so I can keep reading the UFRs if I knew. Grrrr.


September 10th, 2009 at 3:36 PM ^

Is is possible to have the videos default to HD when you click on them? Thanks Brian, karpodiem, and any others for the UFR. I haven't been more excited for one since the '08 Cap One Bowl.


September 10th, 2009 at 3:50 PM ^

Is it possible that Minor was held out of this game so that ND couldn't "properly" prepare for the M offense? Since Minor had so much success last year, I'm wondering if RR figured that he could skip a beating and be really ready to go for ND. Both O and D went very vanilla in the 2nd half (obvs).

Undefeated dre…

September 10th, 2009 at 4:38 PM ^

Is it a ratio? If so, what's the numerator and what's the denominator? Is denominator the number of points 'available' based on how long the QB has the ball and the number of rushers? And the numerator is the number of points Brian allots?

If so, how would these situations be scored:
1) Three man rush, jailbreak with no good OL blocks, QB scrambles forever, dekes 3 defenders and throws a completion?
2) All-out blitz, rushers get through, QB sacked? What if the QB instead rifles a quick out? Does that affect the protection metric?
3) Four man rush, no real pressure, QB unloads ball after 3 seconds?


September 10th, 2009 at 4:49 PM ^

One other little detail maybe worth noting on the waggle TD pass to Koger: they ran it to the left, resulting in a tougher throw for Tate as a right-hander. Really nicely done, and all the more impressive given that little difficulty factor. IIRC the old Griese-to-Tuman version usually had the QB rolling right.

I Bleed Maize N Blue

September 10th, 2009 at 5:38 PM ^

I, too, was impressed with how Tate threw on the move, especially moving to his left.

Yay for no clap snaps! So happy not to see those.

Is it too soon for this?
Q: Has Tacopants' role been reduced to a) guest star, b) cameo appearance, or c) retired?

Or perhaps d) killed off only to be resurrected on another team?


September 10th, 2009 at 8:01 PM ^

Reading the UFR reminded me of when Ernie Harwell used to open Spring Training with "The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;"

The UFR is a thing of joy once more (we hope.)